Internal Audit Chief Turnover; the Quality of Financial Reporting and Audit Report Delay

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran.

2 MSc., Department of Auditing, Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra University, Tehran. Iran.



Objective: The role of the internal audit chief is pivotal in the internal audit sector, as they play a crucial role in enhancing the company's internal controls and ensuring the quality of financial reporting. Auditors also place great significance on internal controls. Independent auditors may need less time to review financial statements in companies with strong internal controls. This study seeks to investigate the relationship between internal audit chief turnover with the quality of financial reporting and audit report delay.
Methods: In this study, the assessment of financial reporting quality was conducted using the modified Jones model, while the measurement of audit report delay was performed by calculating the time gap between the company's financial year-end date and the issuance date of the independent audit report. The data from companies listed on the Tehran Securities Exchange between 2013 and 2022 were collected and analyzed using regression models.
Results: The results obtained from the analysis revealed a positive and significant correlation between the turnover of internal audit chiefs and financial reporting quality. Furthermore, a negative and significant relationship was identified between the turnover of internal audit chiefs and the delay in issuing independent audit reports.
Conclusion: The results showed that periodic turnover of the internal audit chief can lead to strong internal controls on financial reporting and subsequently increase the quality of financial reporting. This can be attributed to the fact that a new internal audit chief often brings a higher level of independence, and motivation, as well as fresh knowledge, expertise, and insights to the role. Accordingly, s/he can do the job more effectively. In addition, having a new internal audit chief who is relatively independent and has the necessary innovation to perform the job and organizational duties can improve the quality of internal controls on financial reporting. As a result, independent auditors place greater reliance on these controls, leading to a reduction in substantive testing of financial statements. Consequently, with the turnover of the internal audit chief, there would be a decrease in the delay of audit reports. According to the achieved results, to enhance the quality of the company's financial reporting, audit committees, as the overseers of the internal audit function, should regularly address the matter of internal audit chief turnover. By paying close attention to this issue at appropriate intervals, audit committees can ensure effective management and continuity in the role, ultimately contributing to improved financial reporting quality. Moreover, the shareholders, investors, analysts, and regulators need to consider the turnover of the internal audit chief and the possible effects on the quality of financial reporting in their decisions. To effectively conduct and complete the audit of financial statements, it is recommended that independent auditors and their clients give due consideration to the impact of internal audit chief turnover. This includes recognizing its potential effects on the required extent of substantive testing. By being aware of this factor, auditors and their clients can appropriately adjust their audit procedures to ensure comprehensive and accurate financial statement audits.


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